Ex-Citi trader points finger at bosses for culture that allowed breaches

Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:44am EDT
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By Steve Slater

LONDON (Reuters) - A former foreign exchange trader claiming he was unfairly dismissed by Citigroup (C.N: Quote) said the sharing of client information looks wrong now it has come under scrutiny from regulators, but was condoned by senior management at the time.

Perry Stimpson, a forex trader at the banking group until he was fired last November, is claiming unfair dismissal at a London employee tribunal. Citi says he was dismissed for serious breaches of contract, alleging he shared confidential client information with traders at other banks via electronic chatrooms.

"Now in the glare of scrutiny from regulators these activities look wrong. But at the time they were market convention," Stimpson said under cross-examination on Friday.

Citigroup is one of seven banks to be fined more than $10 billion for failing to stop traders manipulating the forex market.

Stimpson said he saw senior forex staff sharing information about client activities, and even more senior staff effectively condoning this activity as they were aware of it but took no action.

"If you look at any organization, surely you look to senior management," Stimpson said. "The culture in any organization is set by senior management down. If you see senior management do something, it implies to you it's OK."

WITHOUT MERIT   Continued...

A view of the exterior of the Citibank Corporate headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar